Recent news from WHO



• Dr Howard Zucker, Assistant Director-General for WHO's Health Technology and Pharmaceuticals cluster of departments, was appointed Representative of the Director-General for Intellectual Property, Innovation and Public Health on 18 September.

• Nearly thirty years after phasing out the widespread use of indoor spraying with DDT and other insecticides to control malaria, WHO announced on 15 September that this intervention should once again play a major role in disease control efforts.

• WHO welcomed the Republic of Montenegro (formerly part of Serbia and Montenegro) as its 193rd Member State.

• WHO Member States have proposed 13 candidates for the post of WHO Director-General, WHO announced on 6 September. The candidates are:

Dr Kazem Behbehani
Dr Margaret Chan
Dr Julio Frenk
Mr David A. Gunnarsson
Dr Nay Htun
Dr Karam Karam
Dr Bernard Kouchner
Dr Pascoal Manuel Mocumbi
Dr Shigeru Omi
Dr Alfredo Palacio González
Professor Pekka Puska
Ms Elena Salgado Méndez
Professor Dr Tomris Türmen
Proposed by
Syrian Arab Republic

The WHO Secretariat will provide translations of the proposals and the curriculum vitae of each of the 13 candidates into the six official languages of the United Nations: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. WHO's 193 Member States will receive this by 5 October ahead of an Executive Board meeting in Geneva on 6-8 November to decide on a short-list of candidates, interview them, and then vote to nominate a candidate to the World Health Assembly. In a special one-day session on 9 November, the WHA will consider the Executive Board's nomination and appoint a director-general. For more details about the process of electing a new director-general please see: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/selection_faq/en/index.html

• A quarter of health facilities in parts of Lebanon affected by the recent conflict are not functioning, due to physical damage, access restrictions and lack of staff, while water and fuel shortages remain a serious problem, according to an assessment of more than 400 health facilities by Lebanon's Ministry of Health and WHO released on 6 September.

• The world is in danger of missing the Millennium Development Goal targets for providing clean water and sanitation to people in developing countries, WHO said on 7 September. According to a new report by WHO and UNICEF, MDG Drinking Water and Sanitation Target - The Urban and Rural Challenge of the Decade, the situation is becoming acute in urban areas due to rapid population growth. Read the report here: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/monitoring/jmpfinal.pdf

• WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and fashion model Liya Kebede highlighted the plight of millions of women and girls living with obstetric fistula on 1 September when she launched the WHO manual: Obstetric Fistula: Guiding Principles for Clinical Management and Programme Development.

• WHO said on 25 August that it is intensifying efforts to support governments, particularly in developing countries, to increase helmet use for motorcyclists through a new publication: Helmets: a road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners. Read the manual here: http://www.who.int/roadsafety/projects/manuals/helmet_manual/en/


WHO news from Toronto AIDS conference 13-18 August 2006

• WHO reported that in low- and middle-income countries just over 1.6 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy at the end of June 2006, a 24% increase over the 1.3 million who had access to the drugs in December 2005, and four times the 400 000 people receiving treatment in these countries in December 2003.

• WHO, the International Labour Organization and the International Organization for Migration launched a coordinated global plan called Treat, Train, Retain to address a major and often overlooked barrier to preventing and treating HIV/AIDS: the severe shortage of health workers, particularly in developing nations.

• For the first time the effectiveness of different types of HIV prevention campaigns for young people done through schools, health services, media, communities for young people have been reviewed and graded for their usefulness. A new WHO publication, Steady, Ready, GO! identifies what should be done to prevent HIV infection in young people. http://www.who.int/child-adolescent-health/publications/ADH/ISBN_92_4_120938_0.htm

• WHO presented the findings of a WHO/UNAIDS consultation held in July 2006 confirmed that caring for sexually transmitted infections can reduce HIV transmission.

• HIV Director Dr Kevin De Cock and TB/HIV Coordinator Dr Paul Nunn, both from WHO, joined by Dr Helene Gayle, the International AIDS Society President, called on the global HIV community to step up collaboration on tuberculosis control.

World Health Organization Genebra - Genebra - Switzerland
E-mail: bulletin@who.int